Turnbull was not one to hide his feelings, so Fraser could plainly see that he was dismayed and flustered about something. The tall, thin Mountie slid, apologetically, into Fraser's office, closed the door behind him and leaned, breathing heavily, against the closed door.
"Are you all right, Turnbull," Fraser asked. Turnbull was clearly not all right, but it was as safe an opening line as Fraser had available at the time.
"Oh, sir, I'm in big trouble. I don't know what to do."
Fraser waited. What Turnbull considered "big trouble" might differ significantly from someone else's evaluation. More details were need and Fraser knew Turnbull would not hesitate to supply them.
"Well, sir, you know the Inspector is entertaining that group of German policemen this evening . . "
Fraser nodded. He, himself, was scheduled to be on doorman duty when the Bundespolizei arrived for their meeting and dinner following.
". . . and you know she asked me to prepare some appropriate food for them. The head of the delegation, I found out, is from Hamburg so I thought some nice Hanseatic dishes would be in order. I found a recipe for something called 'aalsuppe' which I thought would be very nice because it is a traditional food from Hamburg. I followed the recipe so carefully, sir, you can't imagine how much care I took to get the freshest eels . . ."
Again Fraser nodded, encouragingly.
"Oh, but sir, the Inspector came down to the kitchen just now and asked me what I was preparing. When I told her it was eel soup, she got very upset."
"She doesn't like eels. Not even the freshest ones," Fraser ventured.
"And she didn’t even care that I used the best dried fruit and the strongest vinegar. She just forbade me to serve the aalsuppe!”
Fraser was aware Turnbull would only use the best quality ingredients, but that apparently wasn't the point as far as Inspector Thatcher was concerned. He tried to offer some encouraging words. "Can't you make another soup at short notice? Something made from an animal with which the Inspector is more familiar?"
"Oh yes, I've already thrown together a chicken soup. I can do that with my eyes shut. That's not the problem, sir. The problem is that our internet is down and I can't search for another Hanseatic dish. And I don't have time to run over to a library and get a German cookbooks. Maybe you could go for me if you don't have anything scheduled?"
Fortunately the trip to a library wasn't necessary.
"Do you still have dried fruit left over from the aalsuppe, Turnbull?" he asked.
"Black currants, raspberries and cherries," the other Mountie reported, promptly.
"Very well, then all you need is sugar, cornstarch and a strainer."
Turnbull's whole body relaxed and his face brightened with hope. "Go on, sir!"
You're going to make 'rote grütze'. Boil the fruit; strain it through a sieve to remove the pits; sweeten it with sugar; thicken with cornstarch. Serve it with custard, which shouldn’t be hard to whip up.”
"Oh, Constable Fraser, you're a life saver! You're sure this is truly a Hanseatic dish?"
Fraser only rolled his eyes.
"Sorry, sir. I didn't mean to doubt you. I was just so upset."
"Carry on, Turnbull. Go boil your berries."
"I will, sir. Thank you, sir. Oh, by the way, would you like to take home the eel soup? I'm not fond of eels myself, if truth be told, so it will only go to waste."
"Thank you kindly, Turnbull. I'd be happy to take it off your hands."
Fraser was telling the truth. Once he was finished his doorman duty that evening he was planning to make dinner at his own apartment for himself and Ray. A ready-made first course would be a welcome time-saver.
"What the hell is this?" Ray asked, looking down at the bowl of soup Fraser put in front of him.
"It's called 'aalsuppe', "Fraser said, "It's a Hanseatic favourite."
Ray frowned down at dish. "That's very interesting, Benny, but it doesn't tell me what this is, does it?"
Fraser sat down beside his lover at the table. "I suppose not, Ray. The Hanseatic League was an alliance of trading guilds that established and maintained a trade monopoly from the late middle ages until . . ."
"What does this have to do with the soup, Benny?"
"Hamburg was one of their major ports and Inspector Thatcher . . ."
"Make this have something to do with the soup, or I’m going to lose my temper," Ray interrupted.
Fraser sighed. "I brought it home because Inspector Thatcher refuses to eat it."
"Aha, now we're getting somewhere. She won't eat it because . . .?"
Fraser looked down at the table, avoiding Ray's eyes.
"Fraser?" Ray insisted.
"Aalsuppe is a stock made from eels. The meat is cooked on the bone garnished with vegetables and most importantly, dried fruit. Its typical sweet and sour taste comes from the addition of vinegar," the Mountie recited, tonelessly.
Ray poked at the soup with the edge of his spoon. "I didn't think eels even had bones," he commented.
Fraser only shrugged.
"Sweet and sour eel soup?"
Ray looked up at Fraser and it was clear from his expression that he wasn't going to eat the soup either.
"You won't eat eel either, will you, Ray?" he asked sadly.
"Let me cheer you up, Benny. Instead of this eel, there's another kind of eel I'm totally willing to put in my mouth. And I'm hungry for it right now. It's better than soup."
"What do you mean Ray?"
"I mean, drop your pants, Undress, Constable. Now."
Fraser understood. He unlaced his boots and took them and his socks off. Then he stood up and removed his trousers. Once he was standing wearing only his shorts on his lower body, Ray also got up. Slowly he eased the Mountie's shorts down over his thighs and Fraser stepped out of these and was now naked from the waist down.
Ray knelt before the Mountie and darted his tongue gently around Fraser's cock. "This is the only eel I'm willing eat, Benny. It doesn't have any bones in it." He continued to tease Fraser's cock with his tongue.
Fraser barely managed to say, between shudders of pleasure, "Not yet."
"But it will soon. Right? Now stand at attention."
Fraser went along with the game. While Ray's mouth was still on him, he straightened his back and brought his heels together, bringing his arms and hands tightly to his sides.
"Not good enough. The eel, too. I want it at attention," Ray said, pretending to be stern and angry. Then he went back work on Fraser's cock, sucking on it while Fraser stood immobile.
Fraser's pleasure was so intense that he was barely able to gasp "Un-der-stood."
Within a moment, the Mountie's eel was indeed standing straight. "Good, that's better," Ray muttered. He worked his lips and tongue until the Mountie couldn't hold out any longer and came into Ray's mouth.
Ray swallowed and then gave a groan of satisfaction. "That's much better. That's the kind of eel soup I like."